Following on from our case-study ‘Nurseries fight for survival‘ back in November, Ofsted research has indicated that childcare places available in England fell at the end of last year.
Ofsted’s research showed that in the final months of 2010, available places fell by more than 3,500.
The figures show that at the end of December there were 1,298,844 places, against 1,302,476 on September 30 – a fall of 3,632.
But the research also showed that the number of registered childminders in England had risen marginally.
While there were 56,710 at the end of September, this rose to 56,882 by December 31 – an increase of 172 childminders.
The figures also reveal that three in 10 nurseries and childminders are not good enough at keeping children safe.
Some 11,674 (27%) were rated only “satisfactory” for safeguarding – the extent to which children feel, and are kept, safe.
A further 726 (2%) were rated “inadequate”.
Ofsted’s figures reveal how well nurseries and childminders – officially “early years providers” – are doing at meeting the needs of youngsters in their care.
The findings show that 29% of nurseries and childminders (12,742) inspected by Ofsted between September 2008 and December 2010 were rated just “satisfactory” overall, and 1% (629) were found to be “inadequate”.
Some 59% (25,828) were considered “good” and one in 10 (4,333) were “outstanding”.
Read our article ‘Preparing for an Ofsted inspection: An outstanding example‘ for tips on preparing for an Ofsted inspection.